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EARLY MOVERS: Square shares fall and Compugen shares surge on Bristol-Myers Squibb investment as stock markets in turmoil

Also in focus before the New York bell is taxi app titan Uber and Hurricane Michael
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A look at some of the trending stories ahead of the New York bell

More carnage is set to hit US markets on Thursday and  several stocks are piquing investor interest before the New York bell.

Square Inc (NYSE:SQ), Jack Dorsey's mobile payment firm, saw shares lose almost 10% before the bell to $69.91.

It came as it emerged that the group's finance chief Sarah Friar was stepping down.

Friar will stay at the company until December this year before becoming  reportedly the chief executive of Nextdoor, a localized social network for neighborhoods.

Dorsey said he was sad about the departure.

Meanwhile, Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR) shares tanked almost 14% to $48.50 in pre-market trade as the Texas-based engineering firm unveiled preliminary third-quarter earnings, which missed analysts' expectations.

It now expects $4.6 billion in revenue, while consensus had been for $4.95 billion. Final figured for the three months will be issued on November 1.

The huge volatility in global markets has pushed up the gold price as traders seek the safe haven. And south African producers of the yellow metal have enjoyed a positive run.

Harmony Gold Mining (JSE:HAR) has added nearly 8.5%. Gold Fields Ltd (JSE:GFI) has gained 4.43%, while smaller DRDGOLD Ltd (JSE:DRD, NYSE:DRD) has also benefitted from the rally, with shares in New York up 7.62% in pre-market at $2.40.

Elsewhere, Compugen Ltd (NASDAQ:CGEN) shares surged over 17% in pre-market to $3.25 as medical equipment giant  Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) said it will put in a $12 million equity investment as part of a collaboration on a cancer treatment.

The latter  will buy around 2.4 million shares at $4.95 a share, which is 52% above Wednesday's closing price of $3.25.

Earnings results from Walgreens Boots Alliance also drew attention, with the drug store chain's shares slipping 3% after its fourth-quarter revenue failed to meet the Street's expectations. 

Its sales in the quarter jumped 11 percent to $33.44 billion, helped by the takeover of nearly 2,000 Rite Aid stores.

But its revenue didn't match the $33.78 billion analysts predicted. Its net income, meanwhile, came in at $1.5 billion or $1.55 per share, up from $802 million, or $0.76 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Shares of Delta Airlines, meanwhile, were up 2% after the airline's third-quarter profits whizzed past Wall Street's estimates thanks to a surge in travel plans.

The airline's net income jumped 13% from the year-ago quarter to $1.31 billion on revenue of $11.95 billion. On a per-share basis, its earnings came in at $1.80, zipping past forecasts of $1.74 per share.

Last but not least, ride hailing titan Uber was back in the news and potentially warming up for a  full IPO next year.

It is reportedly looking to raise $1.5 billion via the junk bond market.

The firm is reportedly planning a private placing of $500 million in five-year notes, which could yield approximately 7.5%, and $1 billion in eight-year notes, which could yield around 8%.

It comes after Uber sold a seven year leveraged loan for $1.5 billion in March.

-- updated with earnings reports from Delta and Walgreens Boots Alliance --


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